Fri, Sep 4, 2009
Thanks for the article!
No true communication is possible without sharing the context. Different context was a reason for many misunderstandings in human history. One of the great advantages we have now is that technology makes sharing of the context much easier and quicker than it was in previous ages.
The translator and interpreters are the ones who are best aware of the problem, which can be formulated as: how to facilitate communication if the partners don't share the context? One approach is to try and "project" the foreign ideas into the other context somehow (which is almost always the work of art), another is to synchonize the context to some degree which makes the communication more or less possible (remember the footnotes in the translated novels, or the novels written long time ago?) The disadvantage of the second approach is that we can comprehend the foreign idea, but we can't feel it - as if we are touching the other world with the rubber gloves.
I wonder if it would be possible, at some point in the future, to rapidly synchronize contexts - how to do it, by which means? Should we synchronize with a war victim by incorporating her memories into our brains? is such synchronization ever desirable? On the other hand, how can we understand somebody talking about cherries in blossom if we have never ever seen them blossoming, felt the fragrant spring air and the own heart beating quicker at the same time? Getting further (may be it's too far but still...) how can we understand another sentient being if it has no heart? How can we sympathize with an intellect too different from our own?..
It is already demonstrated that the words and the concepts are not the same and they are represented in the brain differently. The words are just symbols for the concepts. I wish we could create a "conceptual map" for every language and see how much they overlap... might be very interesting research, but it could only be done if many people will be interested to do it and find it useful.
Fri, Sep 4, 2009
Thank you for your response, it is much appreciated.
Perhaps practical language is the ultimate barrier, and we should focus on communicating the direct experience. The ultimate form of "communication" would have no technical limitations. I like the term "synchronize" as contrasted against "uploading" or "sharing" memories. And in fact the context of the memory may indeed be more important than the actual "visualized" memory in itself. After synchronization it would be impossible to differentiate between what memories are mine, and what memories are of another. Yet the recollection of when and where this memory was created is preserved, thus preserving the original (and personal) context. It may even be necessary for one to possess the entire lifetime of memory from another before one can truly understand from their perspective. In this case who is to say you are not this other being entirely, if you possess every aspect of what once made them sentient?
One can imagine two brains being connected together by a thin wire from one neuron to another. If one continuously kept addling more wires between the two, there comes a point when the two brains stop functioning as separate and can be considered a greater whole. Once one reaches this level of connectivity, concepts of “self", "personality" and even "soul" may be completely obsolete. One who has undergone loss of ego will understand this.
If a leader truly understood, from direct experience how terrible war is, perhaps he would think twice before sending in more bombers. In this case even the most horrific memories of the war victim may hold great value to the collective consciousness. A complete experience is necessary to reach a complete understanding. In the end the universe may simply be attempting to experience itself through us.
Also, see nookanyc’s post on universal communication:
Sat, Sep 5, 2009
In the end the universe may simply be attempting to experience itself through us.
Nice wording. The religous person might have said: the purpose of creation was for God to create the mirror to behold Herself. Alternative version: the Universe strives to become a single conscious entity... would it be possible and what could happen next, is too far to even think about it, but the idea looks exciting to me.